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Assessment Task 1 – Written research project
Due date: Monday (11:59pm), 9 September 2013
Value: 50%
Word length: 3,000 (min) – 3,500 words (max) by individual
 5,000 (min) – 6,500 words (max) by group of 4 members
Choice of Options and Topics
You have the choice of 2 options and several research topics to complete this Assessment Task. You must do one or the other, but NOT both! The assignment can be completed either by groups (Option 1) or individually (Options 1 or 2).
This assignment requires you to conduct research based on an actual organisation you can have access to. You are required to research and report what the chosen organisation has done to achieve competitive advantages via its unique human resource management strategies with reference to one or all of the following three topics:
1. Effective performance management linked with organisational employee development and career management;
2. Employee engagement strategies linked to global talent attraction and retention;
3. Work-life balance strategies linked to global employer branding as ‘employer of choice’
This option of assignment task is designed to provide you with an opportunity to apply the knowledge learnt and developed in the subject study to the practical case analysis on key contemporary HR issues. You are encouraged to speak to HR personnel and/or managers/employees in your own organisation or in the one you are familiar with; or to be reflective on what you have been doing if you are in a HR role. This is to ensure that you conduct a thorough analysis and that you are able to draw out organisational strategies to address the specific HR issue.
This option can be taken both by a GROUP or individual.
Group work
You are encouraged to complete this task by GROUP. It is your responsibility to form your own group. You must provide names of up to 4 members in your group to the Unit Chair no later than Week 3 of Trimester 2. Please note: if you cannot pull a team together in a short time (within two weeks), you will find it difficult to work together within 8 weeks to complete your group project report as group work does require much more effective time management and coordination.
The Group Report must be written in 5,000 (min) to 6,500 (max) words (exclusive of title page, executive summary, figures/tables, appendices and references). Please include the word count on the front page of your assignment.
Individual work
Given your special circumstance, you may decide to complete this task by yourself. In such a case, you are still required to access to an actual organisation and speak to HR personnel and/or managers/employees in your own organisation or in the one you are familiar with; or to be reflective on what you have been doing if you are in the HR or line managerial role. Based on your research outcomes, write a report within 3,000 to 3,500 words (exclusive of title page, executive summary, figures/tables, appendices and references). Please include the word count on the front page of your assignment.
Report Format – structure and presentation of your report
Please use a formal report style with headings and a clear logical numbering system. You should also include a full list of references. Only include information in your references and appendices that have been directly referred to in the body of your document. Your report should include:
(i) Title page - containing the subject title and code, your name and student id number (in case of group, all group members’ names and id numbers)
(ii) Table of contents
(iii) An executive summary less than 300 words covering the objectives, methods and key findings of your report
(iv) Introduction – a brief introduction of the report less than 200 words
(v) An overview of the organisation – very brief, NO NEED to cover all aspects of its HR policies and practices but type of organisation, industry, size, scope (i.e.
domestic or global company) and years of establishment (less than 200 words)
(vi) Literature review – this is an important part of your report as you need to draw all relevant literature relating to the topic (s) of your choice (approx. 1000-2000 words depending on whether it is individual or group report)
(vii) Reflection of best practices or problems – this would be based on your interviews and research about the chosen organisation (approx. 500-1000 words depending on whether it is individual or group report)
(viii) Discussion and analysis – this is another important part of the report whereby you need to discuss and compare your findings about the organisation with reference to the literature you have reviewed in Point (vi) (1000-2000 words depending on whether it is individual or group report)
(ix) Conclusion – this would include recommendation for various options the organisation could take to change or improve in their human resource
management practices (about 200-300 words)
(x) References – note the reference requirements in the assessment criteria
(xi) Appendices (eg. research questions asked in your interviews or organisational chart or any useful information that could support your argument, but may be too wordy to be included in the main report)
If you do not have access to any organisation, you may choose to write a research paper to answer only ONE of the following three questions, which are similar to the three topics mentioned in the Option 1.
1. How could the effective performance management assist employees to develop their professional knowledge and skills and help with their career progress as in line with achieving global organisation’s strategic objectives?
2. The engagement of employees has become an important factor for global organisations to remain productive and competitive. What can organisations do to more effectively engage their employees with the aim to attract and retain global talents?
3. Employers worldwide have been increasingly offering work-life balance initiatives to build their reputation as ‘employer of choice’. Critique the types of work-life balance programs offered in Australia or in other parts of the world and discuss their effectiveness in employer branding.
This option of assignment task is designed to provide you with an opportunity to apply and synthesise the knowledge learnt and developed in the subject study and critically discuss and analyse contemporary HR issues. You are required to conduct a thorough research on the chosen question and write an essay (or discussion paper) of 3000-3,500 words (exclusive of title page, figures/tables, appendices and references).
Paper format - Structure and presentation of your research paper
Although a research paper, you may still use headings and a clear logical numbering system. You should also include a full list of references. Only include information in your references and appendices that have been directly referred to in the body of your document. You do NOT need to include a table of contents or an executive summary in your discussion paper.
Your paper should include:
1. A title page - contains the subject title and code, your name and student id number;
2. Introduction - briefly outlines the topic and your argument (200-300 words);
3. Relevant literature review - synthesises key book chapters/journal papers devoted to the discussion of chosen topic area, and identifies best practices or issues and problems, that is: what issues and problems or best practices of organisations in general have you found in your readings of various literatures (this is the most important part of your paper, 1000-1500 words)
4. Discussion and analysis – addresses how the issues and problems could be resolved by a set of HR solutions/strategies (another important part of your paper, 1000-1500 words)
5. Conclusion – reviews your key points of learning/findings (200-300 words)
6. References
7. Appendices (eg. figures/tables you refer to in the paper can be included here).
Please include the word count on the front page of your assignment.
The assessment criteria for written assignment applicable to both Options 1 & 2 are based on Deakin’s Graduate Attributes and displayed in the table below:
Criteria Marks
Knowledge of HRM: knowledge of topic and issues interpreted from different perspectives 10
Critical thinking: critical evaluation and analysis of theory and practice presented in the relevant academic literature* 10
Problem solving: answering the question and providing realistic solutions or recommendations 10
Global citizenship: clear understanding and explanation of global issues related to the topic/question 10
Communication: clear structure and presentation of report/paper and logic flow of arguments within word limits; accurate and relevant references* 10
*NOTE: It is a standard requirement for postgraduate students to reference at least a total of 15 book chapters and/or journal papers in the written assignments. The majority (80%) of these references should be from peer-reviewed publications. 20% of references from practitioner journals or websites are acceptable.
Please also refer to the details about the Assignment Feedback Form and the Assessment Criteria Rubric uploaded on the CloudDeakin for further information about how your written assignment will be assessed.
Submission: Before commencing the assignment you should read the following sections in the Unit Guide:
• Submission and assessment policy,
• Plagiarism
• Planning assignments and getting started
• Useful references
• Assignment submission rules
Assignment submission rules
All assignments for this unit are to be submitted online in an area provided in CloudDeakin. They are counted as ‘on time’ if submitted by 11:59pm AEST or AEDST on the due date. If necessary, you can look up your local time at
When submitting online, you must check that you have submitted work correctly by following the instructions provided in CLOUDDEAKIN.
Please complete the Faculty Assignment Attachment Sheet for your CLOUDDEAKIN submission. Only one member of each group need upload the assignment if you complete the assignment in group. Please ensure, however, that the names and student numbers of all members of your group are included on the front page of your assignment.
Assignments are on time if they are submitted via CLOUDDEAKIN on the due date.
Students enrolled through partnership agreements must submit as required by the unit coordinator at the partner institution on the due date.
No extensions will be considered for assignment submission due dates unless a written request is submitted and negotiated with the designated Unit Chair. Assignments submitted late without an extension being granted will not be marked.
Return of marked assignments and requests for reviews
Your assignment will be marked, commented upon and sent back to you via CLOUDDEAKIN within 20 business days or less of the due date of the assignment.
Please note that before results are returned to you, the Unit Chair, together with the teaching/marking team will have applied moderation methods to ensure that the standards by which your work has been assessed are the same for all students enrolled in the unit.
You may request additional information from assessors or checks on addition or recording errors. You can contact the Unit Chair directly, or use the ‘Stage 1 Review’ form available from the Faculty office. However, no reviews or remarks of assessment tasks are allowed unless you formally request such a review through the Faculty Academic Progress and Disciplinary Committee. Such requests must be submitted on the Administrative Review of Result form and may be submitted at any time up to 10 days after the release of results for the unit.
Special consideration
If you consider that your assessment was or is likely to be adversely affected by serious and exceptional circumstances beyond your control, you may apply for special consideration. Grounds can be medical, compassionate or hardship/trauma. A form is available from the Faculty office (also via the link Special consideration is not normally intended for assignments and other forms of continuous assessment during the semester – you should apply to the Unit Chair for an extension in such cases.
Applications for special consideration must be made no later than three days after the due date of the assessment task. They are referred to the Unit Chair or nominee for determination and the outcome is notified within 10 working days of the application or before publication of final results for the unit.
Plagiarism and other academic offences
Plagiarism is the copying of another person`s ideas or expressions and presenting them as your own without an explicit indication of the source of the material. It includes copying written works such as books or journals, data or images that may be presented in tables, diagrams, designs, plans, photographs, film, music, formulae, web sites and computer programs. Plagiarism also includes the use of the work of lecturers or other students as your own without acknowledgment.
Intention to cheat is irrelevant in determining whether plagiarism has occurred – if you pass off the work of others as your own without acknowledgement, then you have offended, whether you knew you were doing it or not. Even the ‘George Harrison defence’ is irrelevant in determining if plagiarism has occurred. George’s explanation for “My Sweet Lord” sounding like “He’s So Fine” as recorded by the Chiffons in 1962 was “I did not knowingly copy another’s work – it was just in my head so that I assumed it was original”. George still plagiarised.
The University regards plagiarism as an extremely serious academic offence. The penalties associated with plagiarism may be severe and extend to cancelling all marks for the specific assessment item or for the entire unit or even exclusion from your course. These penalties are detailed in Part 2 of Regulation 4.1 (1) Student Discipline.
It is important to realise, however, that it is certainly not an offence to use the work of others in your work. On the contrary - a well-constructed essay or report should normally refer to and build on the work of others for positioning, supporting and strengthening your work and advancing knowledge. Plagiarism occurs when due recognition and acknowledgement of the work of others is not provided. Therefore, whenever you are using another person`s research or ideas (whether by direct quotation or by paraphrasing) you must appropriately cite the source. If you are ever in doubt about the most appropriate form of referencing, you should consult your lecturer or Student Life.
Teaching teams will use a variety of methods to detect plagiarism, and some units may require that you submit your work to a system that can check your work for possible plagiarism.
Unauthorised collaboration is a similar offence. Unauthorised collaboration involves working with others with the intention of deceiving examiners about who actually completed the work. If there has been any collaboration in preparing individual assessment items, this must be disclosed. In the case of group project work, lecturers provide guidelines on what level of collaboration is appropriate and how the work of each participant in the project is to be assessed. If you have any doubt about what constitutes authorised and unauthorised collaboration you should consult your lecturer.
Due date: TBA (please check the details from your StudentConnect)
Value: 50%
Format: Closed-book, 2-hour written examination
The final examination will be based on the whole unit and will be two hours in duration with 15 minutes reading time and will be worth 50 per cent of your final mark. You will not be allowed to take any notes or references into the examination room. You will be advised later in the tri mester about the date and place of the final examination.
The assignment and the exam are compulsory. To pass Human Resource Management a student must obtain a minimum of 45 per cent of the marks allocated to the final examination, as well as 50 per cent or more for the unit as a whole.
Writing style requirements
Written assessment tasks can vary from unit to unit and even within one unit. It is important that you understand what is required of a particular writing style to maximise your chances of academic success. Examples of writing styles used for assessment in the Faculty of Business and Law include assignments, essays, case studies and reports.
The following link to the Student Life website provides instruction on all of these different writing styles:
Referencing requirements
Referencing involves acknowledging original sources of information when producing written work. By referencing correctly, you not only give weight to any arguments or statements made in your work, but also avoid plagiarism.
Undergraduate and Postgraduate Course Students. The following links to the Student Life website provide a comprehensive guide on ‘How to Reference Your Writing’ (downloadable):
The following Library website provides a virtual tutorial on referencing and has an online quiz:
Research skills
The library provides many resources to support your research. See
Exam Preparation
Examinations are an important part of assessment for most units in the Faculty of Business and Law. It is imperative that you learn how to prepare for an examination and how to best use your time during an examination so that you can attain academic success.
The following links to the Student Life website provide valuable information about how best to prepare and sit for an examination:
Further Information
The Division of Student Life provides free on-campus academic skills workshops including: Organising and Time Management Skills; English Language Class; How to Avoid Plagiarism; Working in Groups; Your First Assignment; Lectures and Tutorials; and Writing University Assignments. See the following website for further details and dates of workshops:

Question Set #249

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